The field of hypnotherapy has been tainted and misunderstood for years. All one has to do is look at the use of hypnosis in Hollywood movies or see a stage hypnotist at a county fair perform, and most of us will avoid being hypnotized. No one wants to be embarrassed because of clucking like a chicken, or lose control and say or do something we wouldn't normally allow. The truth is that hypnotherapy is not what most people have been "hypnotized" into believing. I know because I have been using hypnosis personally and professionally and training hypnotherapists for over thirty years. So, sit comfortably, take a deep breath and allow me to teach you what hypnosis really is...
You experience the hypnotic state many times during the day. I remember in high school in my driver's education class reading about "highway hypnosis", a state of consciousness we naturally experience when driving long distances. Have you driven while daydreaming and forgotten that you crossed a familiar bridge or gone through a tunnel and not been consciously aware of it? If so, you have spontaneously experienced the inwardly focused state of consciousness called hypnosis.
Hypnosis is natural. It is a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping. You may have had the experience of drifting off to sleep and having someone come into the room to ask you a question. Since you are not asleep yet, you can still respond coherently from a relaxed, inwardly-focused state. So, if you can go to sleep, you can be hypnotized. The question is: Do you want to allow yourself to be hypnotized?
All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. Contrary to what most people believe, hypnosis involves the use of your free will. You choose to respond to the suggestions given in hypnosis. The "inner hypnotist" is the part of you that says to yourself, " I can and will allow myself to let go and relax." Because your own free will is engaged, you will only respond when you want to respond. Being able to be hypnotized is not the same as being gullible. As a matter of fact, being able to be hypnotized points to a higher than normal ability to be creative and be the "captain of your own ship" of your body, mind and emotions. When you are in hypnosis you are behind the wheel and driving your own life and in more control. The control, however comes from a more expanded and integrated state of awareness.
Hypnosis is a skill. Just as some of us were naturals in grade school when we first swung a baseball bat, some of us are naturals at allowing ourselves to access the state of consciousness that is hypnosis. And just like with hitting baseballs, we can all be coached and taught to go into a hypnotic state.
How is it that this state of hypnosis is a desirable and helpful state of consciousness? In a hypnotic state you are more resourceful and creative because you have access to more dimensions and levels of consciousness. You experience yourself as more that your normal waking thoughts, beliefs, and feelings. You are expanded to include access of your subconscious and your super-conscious self. In hypnosis you can access long-forgotten memories, control pain, promote self-healing and become more intuitive. In hypnosis you are also more highly suggestible to positive suggestions to promote change.
By accessing this state, you have an expanded sense of Self which carries into your conscious daily life.
You remember what you experience when in a hypnotic state. You experience hypnosis through all of your inner senses by seeing with your inner eyes, hearing with your inner ears, and feeling emotions and body sensations. In most hypnotic states you are very relaxed and you return to wakeful consciousness feeling refreshed and renewed. After a hypnotic session you are very likely to continue to think about what you experienced or feel the positive effects of the work you have done as you integrate your new levels of insight and self-discoveries into your conscious self. The positive effects will most often become a part of your conscious awareness and your daily life. The more you access the state, the more positive effects you will have. This accumulative effect is what many of my hypnotherapy graduates exclaim at the end of their 200 hour hypnotherapy certification training at HCH Institute. Many students exclaim that they have gotten the benefits of over 20 years of therapy in four months of hypnosis training. Our graduates have spent the better part of their 200 hours of training in the hypnotic state doing the work and practicing the hypnotherapy techniques with each other. They are learning to be hypnotherapists while accessing the hypnotic state!
Holly Holmes-Meredith is a Doctor of Ministry and a licensed Marriage family Therapist who trains hypnotherapists at HCH Institute in Lafayette CA. Learn more about hypnosis and its many therapeutic uses by reading her other blogs on Past life Therapy, Spirit Releasement Therapy, Manifesting your dreams and more.
Visit www.HypnotherapyTraining.com to learn about HCH Institute and its California state approved and registered certification trainings and classes for personal growth in hypnotherapy, energy therapy and parapsychological studies. And listen to her pod cast and samples of Holly's Hypnosis CDs which are available on-line.